Question: We are shopping for a new sofa, and I don't understand the various styles of cushions. Is it merely an aesthetic choice, or do you actually select cushion styles for specific reasons? I'd appreciate any guidance!
Phoebe's Answer: The type of cushion for a sofa is mostly a personal or an aesthetic choice. A three cushion sofa, with three back cushions - called "three over three" in the industry - is a very traditional choice. A sofa with two cushions is slightly more updated, and a sofa with a bench cushion (one seat cushion) is the most modern. Generally speaking, three people usually do not sit on a sofa together. Usually, it is no more than two.
Another thing to consider is whether you want back cushions, or a tight back or tufted back sofa. Back cushions can provide more comfortable, squishier seating, but also require some maintenance and some fluffing. A tight back remains neater. It is all about how the sofas will be used, and the size of the homeowners' height and so on. Make sure you sit on upholstery before purchasing, and get something that not only fits your body, but that also suits your needs for how you intend to use it in the room. A sofa or chair used for watching tv or reading is different than a sofa intended for conversation in a living room. And, I always advise this: make sure the man of the house has a comfortable place to sit in every room of the house - it will make your life easier! Below are illustrations of types of upholstery cushions to consider. Good luck!
(And, here are some additional Q&As we have done about upholstery: skirted or unskirted, arm styles, and varying costs in fabric.)